Contest 2.0

It’s official: our annual Excellence in Journalism contest opens today. This year, for the first time, the contest will be online; entries will be submitted through the Better Newspaper Contest. As with all digital migrations, it’s required some heavy lifting. (Thank you, Ron Miskoff!)  Please be patient. We know the online version will require an adjustment, so we have done our best to walk you through the process. If you click on the Contest tab above, you’ll find a contest overview, guidelines, a complete list of contest categories, directions for submitting, and even information about how you can volunteer. Don’t hesitate to email us at if you encounter any problems.…

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Radio SPJ: cartoonist Thomas Nast

Tune in on Saturday, Jan. 5 at noon Eastern when our guest on Studio SPJ will be the author of a new biography on the legendary editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast.

The half-hour Internet radio program will feature an interview with Fiona Deans Halloran, whose book “Thomas Nast – The Father of Modern Political Cartoons – will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in January.

Nast – who lived from 1840 to 1902 – is best known for inventing the symbols of the donkey and the elephant for the Democratic and Republican parties.

His sharply drawn cartoons skewered the political corruption of political bosses in New York City’s Tammany Hall. He also drew iconic images of Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly. He lived much of his life in Morristown, N.J.

Halloran teaches history at Rowland Hall – St. Mark’s School in Salt Lake City.

Studio SPJ is an series of conversations on topics of interest to journalists.

The Utah Headliners and New Jersey Pro chapters will serve as co-sponsors of the broadcast.

To listen to the program live or hear it later as a podcast, go to:

To call into the live broadcast with a question or comment, call 347-857-2441.…

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Coders and journalists, unite!

From the newly created NJ News Commons project at Montclair State, this great training opportunity:

It’s a weekend. It’s a contest. It’s a chance to be on the cutting edge of journalism. HackJersey — coders and journalists working together to tell stories using public data — is coming Jan. 25-27, 2013. Journalists, if you’ve ever wondered how amazing data visualizations and interactives like this are created, you want to be part of this weekend. You don’t need to come with programming skills; you’ll join a team with coders. This is the first hackathon in the state of New Jersey to bring the two disciplines together. Prizes include lunch with Jeff Jarvis and a tour of the New York Times R&D labs.

Cost is $10 for pros, free for students. For more info, go here.…

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NJSPJ Sandy help for journalists

Dear members:

We hope you and your families are safe and warm following superstorm Sandy and the impending nor’easter.

So many journalism colleagues have been affected storm and need help, large and small. Many of you are also looking for ways to lend a hand.

Do you need a place to charge up, get access to the web or simply to have a place to work? Do you need a warm place to stay, clothing or other essentials?

If you’re in need of help, or if you’re willing to donate, please don’t be shy.

Contact us at or call  908-399-4771 and we’ll connect you.

There are also many other ways to help people who’ve been hit by Sandy. Here are some resources:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has activated its transitional shelter program, which allows those who cannot return to their homes because of storm damage to stay in participating hotels, motels or other housing. You must first register with FEMA at a recovery center, by calling 800-621-3362 or by going to

Donate to the American Red Cross’s Sandy efforts


Charities is a McCormick Foundation fund that offers 50% matching donations for grants to be made to qualified nonprofit organizations with programs
that concentrate on child abuse prevention and treatment; child and youth education; housing; and hunger.…

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